Sunday, September 23, 2012
On September 22nd NAAFS put on Combat Challenge 22. If you like exciting finishes, this was the card for you. On the pro side, Adam Milstead took another step towards the big show with a quick stoppage of De'Andre Billinglsy and Josh Baker got a very impressive win and made a big statement. On the amateur side, Izzy Williams showed that he is loaded with potential and someone to keep an eye on. Jessica Zomcik returned to the cage after a long hiatus and looked very impressive both in winning and in being in the best shape I can recall her ever being in. Also impressive finishes by Jena Baldwin, Dan Ramacciato and Joe Callari among others.
1. Amateur Heavyweight
Cody Tominack (1-0 Bullpen) vs Brandon Rankins (0-0 TGA)
RD1: Hook by Tominack. They clinch and Tominack gets a takedown into side control. Body shots by Tominack. Tominack moves to north south position and hooks an arm triangle and gets the tap.
Result: Cody Tominack by Tapout (Arm Triangle) at 1:10 of Round 1
2. Amateur Light Heavyweight
Landen Harvey (0-0 Sud'n Impact) vs Richard Barrow (0-0 Independent)
RD 1: Leg kick by Barrow. They trade punches. Leg kick by Barrow. Hook by Barrow and another. Leg kick by Barrow and another. Barrow drops him with punches against the cage and lands a few more till the ref stops it.
Result: Richard Barrow by TKO at 1:10 of Round 1
3. Amateur Bantamweight
Hunter Vargas (1-0 Team Elite) vs Chris Varner (0-0 Mad Dog Fight Team)
RD 1: Varner charges in and lands a cross and clinches against the cage. They separate and trade punches. Varner lands a knee to the head stopping the action as that is illegal for amateurs. They resume and Vargas lands a body kick. They clinch on the cage and Vargas lands a knee to the body. Varner lands body shots. Vargas lands a knee low stopping the action. They resume and trade hard shots. Vargas lands hard punches. They clinch on the cage and Varner looks for a guillotine. Varner lands a knee to the body. They separate and Varner lands hard shots. Takedown by Varner as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Varner
RD 2: Superman punch by Vargas. They clinch on the cage and Varner gets a takedown into guard. Head shots by Varner. Body shots now by Varner. Hammer fist by Varner. Now Varner is in half guard and then he gets mount and then gets his back. Head shots by Varner. Varner looks for a rear naked and lands more punches. Varner gets the rear naked and gets the tap.
Result: Chris Varner by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:38 of Round 2
4. Amateur 145LB
Janel Kraft (1-3 Team Pedro Sauer) vs Jena Baldwin (1-0 Eric Hibler's MMA)
RD 1: Baldwin lands hard punches. They clinch against the cage and Baldwin lands knees to the leg. Kraft lands punches to the head. Two knees to the body by Kraft. Kraft gets a takedown into side control. Baldwin gets half guard. Kraft gets back to side control. Knees to the body from the bottom by Baldwin.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Baldwin
RD 2: Hard cross by Baldwin. Clinch on the cage and Kraft gets a takedown. Kraft pushes her against the cage. Kraft gets mount and lands short head shots. Baldwin sweeps and gets on top in guard. Kraft sweeps and and gets on top and gets side control. Short head shots by Kraft.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Kraft
RD 3: Leg kick by Baldwin. Baldwin lands punches. They clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Kraft. Two knees to the body by Baldwin. Baldwin looks for a guillotine. Knee to the leg by Kraft. Takedown by Baldwin. Baldwin gets a guillotine and gets the tap.
Result: Jena Baldwin by Tapout (Guillotine) at 1:45 of Round 3
5. Amateur Welterweight
Cody Groves (1-1 God's Will) vs Mike Bothwell (2-2 Mad Dog Fight Team)
RD 1: Body kick by Groves. Hook by Bothwell. Jab by Groves. Leg kick by Bothwell. Body kick by Bothwell. Body kick by Groves. Hook to the body by Bothwell. They trade punches. Jab by Groves. Leg kick by Bothwell. Bothwell shoots in and gets a takedown into guard. Body shots by Bothwell. Head shots by Bothwell. Bothwell is now in half guard and lands a punch to the head.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Bothwell
RD 2: Leg kick by Bothwell. Hook by Groves. Leg kick by Bothwell. Bothwell catches a kick and takes him down into guard. Body shots by Bothwell. Punch to the head by Bothwell. More head shots by Bothwell. Body shots from the bottom by Groves. Bothwell now in half guard landing head shots.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Bothwell
RD 3: Jab by Groves. The trade leg kicks. Hook to the body by Bothwell. They clinch against the cage and quickly separate. Slam by Bothwell and he gets side control and then moves to north south position. Groves gets half guard. Short head shots by Bothwell. More head shots by Bothwell.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Bothwell
My score card: 30-27 Bothwell
Result: Mike Bothwell by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)
6. Amateur Lightweight
Brad Huston (0-0 Team Elite) vs Dan Ramacciato (1-1 Griffon Rawl)
RD 1: Hook by Huston. They clinch in the center and Ramacciato lands a knee to the body. They move to the cage and Ramacciato slams him and gets side control. Ramacciato traps an arm and lands head shots. Ramacciato gets his back and looks for the rear naked. Head shots by Ramacciato. Ramacciato gets the rear naked and gets the tap.
Result: Dan Ramacciato by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:06 of Round 1
7. Amateur Middleweight
Abed Aabderrazzaq (2-0 Evolve MMA) vs Anthony Binder (1-2-1 Team Elite)
RD 1: Cross by Aabderrazzaq. Hard hook by Aabderrazzaq. They clinch on the cage. Aaberrazzaq is working hard for a takedown. Punches to the leg by Aabderrazzaq. Body shots by Binder. The ref separates them. Hook to the body by Binder. They trade hard shots. Clinch on the cage. Body shots by Binder. Knee to the body by Binder. Body shots by Binder. Knee to the leg by Binder.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Binder
RD 2: Uppercut by Aabderrazzaq. They clinch against the cage. Takedown by Binder into guard. Body shots by Binder. More body shots by Binder. Binder gets side control and lands hard punches to the head. Binder tries for a key lock but can't get it. Binder gets his back and lands head shots.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Binder
RD 3: Binder charges in and they clinch on the cage. Binder drops him with punches and lands a couple more till the ref stops it.
Result: Anthony Binder by TKO at :17 of Round 3
8. Amateur Welterweight
James Randles (1-2 White Widdow) vs Joe Callari (2-5 Griffon Rawl)
RD 1: Leg kick by Callari. Randles lands a kick low stopping the action. They resume and Callari lands a leg kick and another. Another leg kick by Callari. They clinch on the cage and Callari lands a knee to the body. Callari gets a guillotine and gets the tap.
Result: Joe Callari by Tapout (Guillotine) at :55 of Round 1
9. Amateur Lightweight
Dylan Freedman (4-0 Air Gadfly) vs Izzy Williams (2-0 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: Leg kick by Freedman. Body kick by Williams. Leg kick by Williams. They trade leg kicks. Cross by Williams. Hard body kick by Williams. Takedown by Freedman but Williams is right back up. Williams drops him with punches and lands a couple more till the ref stops it.
Result: Izzy Williams by TKO at 1:18 of Round 1
10. Amateur 115LBS
Rachel Sazoff (3-2 Team Almeida) vs Amber Ignatowski (5-1 USA Martial Arts)
RD1: Cross by Ignatowski. They clinch and move to the cage. Sazoff is trying hard for a takedown and finally gets it into half guard. Body shots by Sazoff. Ignatowski seems to have an injured leg and the doctor comes and and stops the fight.
Result: Rachel Sazoff by Doctor Stoppage at 1:22 of Round 1
11. Amateur Featherweight
Josh Espinoza (1-0 TFG) vs Vincent Bullard (3-1 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: They clinch and Bullard gets a takedown. Bullard gets side control but Espinoza pulls guard. Bullard goes for a guillotine but cant get it and it allows Espinoza to get on top. Sweep by Bullard go get on top. Head shots by Bullard. Espinoza goes for an armbar and gets it for the tap.
Result: Josh Espinoza by Tapout (Armbar) at 1:51 of Round 1
12. Amateur 140LBS
Ashley Rickard (4-2 Sud'n Impact) vs Jessica Zomcik (5-3 Evolve MMA)
RD 1: They trade punches. Body kick by Rickard. They clinch on the cage. Knees to the leg by Zomcik. Rickard pulls her down and Zomcik is in guard. Head shots from the bottom by Rickard. Body shots by Zomcik. Zomcik moves to half guard. Body shots by Zomcik. Head shots from the bottom by Rickard. The ref stands them. Cross by Zomcik. They trade leg kicks. Hook by Zomcik. Leg kick by Zomcik. Jab by Zomcik. Leg kick by Zomcik. Zomcik lands punches against the cage.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Zomcik
RD 2: Jab by Zomcik. Rickard forces a clinch on the cage. They drop down with Zomcik having her back. Zomcik looks for a rear naked. Heel strikes to the leg by Zomcik. Zomcik gets the read naked with Rickard is fighting it. Now head shots by Zomcik. Zomcik has a body triangle. More head shots by Zomcik. Rickard tries to roll into her and Zomcik tries for an arm and gets it for the tap.
Result: Jessica Zomcik by Tapout (Armbar) at 2:54 of Round 2
13. Pro Lightweight
Dave Parker (7-8 Demolition Fight Team) vs Jay Wadsworth (6-5 Kinetix Combat Sports)
RD 1: They clinch on the cage and trade short punches. They separate and Wadsworth lands a hard leg kick. Cross by Parker. Hook by Parker. Body kick by Wadsworth. Push kick by Wadsworth. Cross by Wadsworth. They trade hard shots. They clinch against the cage. They drop down and Wadsworth looks for the choke. Wadsworth gets his back and lands head shots. More head shots by Wadsworth. Wadsworth flattens him and lands punches. Elbows to the head by Wadsworth. Punches to the head land for Wadsworth till the ref stops it.
Result: Jay Wadsworth by TKO at 3:58 of Round 1
14. Pro Bantamweight
Richard McDole (9-3 Team Elite) vs Josh Baker (9-1 Bullpen)
RD 1: Jab by McDole. Leg kick by McDole. Head kick by McDole. Takedown by Baker into half guard. Baker gets side control. McDole scrambles and they stand and are clinched on the cage. Takedown by Baker. Baker gets side control and lands a punch to the head. More head shots by Baker. McDole pulls guard. Body shots by Baker. Baker gets side control and then they stand. Leg kick by McDole. Jab by McDole. Leg kick by Baker. Takedown by Baker into guard. Elbow to the head from the bottom by McDole.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Baker
RD 2: Jab by Baker. Leg kick by Baker. Leg kick by Baker. Cross by Baker. Baker shoots in and gets a takedown against the cage. Baker gets side control and then mount. Baker looks for an arm triangle and has it but McDole is hanging in there and escapes. Baker gets his back and gets a body triangle. Head shots by Baker. Baker gets a rear naked and gets the tap.
Result: Josh Baker by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:02 of Round 2
15. Pro Heavyweight
DeAndre Billingsly (6-2 Kingdom MMA) vs Adam Milstead (11-3 Fight Club Pittsburgh)
RD 1: Leg kick by Billingsly. Billingsly ducks a head kick and shoots in but Milstead sprawls and lands punches to the head. Billingsly is still trying for the takedown. Knees to the head by Milstead. They stand and Milstead gets a guillotine and gets the tap.
Result: Adam Milstead by Tapout (Guillotine) at 1:20 of Round 1
Submission of the Night: Jessica Zomcik
Knock-Out of the Night: Izzy Williams
Fight of the Night: Richard McDole vs Josh Baker
Seeing her fight in person on two occasions, Rebecca Heintzman is someone I have quickly become impressed with. She is a well rounded fighter who can control people on the ground, but is able to effectively stand and strike when the situation calls for it. With a record of 5-0 she is quickly making a name for herself and getting some recognition as someone to watch.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: I played soccer in college and after I was done with college and started grad school, it was odd not having competitive sports in my life anymore. I needed something that could work around my school schedule. With team sports, if you miss practice, you are letting other people down. With MMA I could tailor it to my schedule and go to the classes and wasn't letting down a group of people if I couldn't make it one night. I knew other people who had done MMA and convinced me to check out the local gyms. I went and stuck with it.
Q: When you started training, was the plan to fight all along?
A: Not necessarily at the level I am getting to now. It was one of those things that I was gonna go do it to stay in shape, do some grappling tournaments, and have the goal of fighting in the cage once before I was done, just so I could have that experience. I didn't know it was something that would turn into me competing regularly.
Q: A lot of parents might not like the idea of their daughter getting punched in the face....
Q: Where yours o.k. with it?
A: They are supportive of it. My mom is not o.k with me getting punched in the face. She can't watch my fights until afterwords and when my dad has informed her I did a good job protecting my face. I have two older brothers and one older sister, they grew up kind of picking on me, they have always known me as a competitive person and enjoy watching me do something I love.
Q: One thing I like is that unlike a lot of new fighters, you don't get overly excited and remain calm, is that accurate?
A: I guess so. I usually feel pretty calm. I think it is a result of the type of training my gym puts me through. Making me experience uncomfortable situations in training so when they happen in competition, they are not so unsettling.
Q: Going over your last two fights, with Ronda Gale, you seemed to really want to work your clinch game and takedowns, was that the plan going in?
A: Yeah, I felt pretty comfortable on the ground. My plan was to fight her in my comfort zone.
Q: For your size you are really strong, does that help you when you are doing your clinch work and takedown attempts?
A: Definitely! Any advantage you can have over your opponent be it, strength, speed, skill, anything like that will help you in a fight.
Q: Your last fight, you beat Jody Reicher by TKO, how did you feel about your performance in that fight?
A: That fight was exciting for me because I had the challenge to kind of not go for the takedown right away, stand a little bit, test my hands. I felt I was successful at that, working my hands and showing I have little bit more of a well-rounded game than people might think.
Q: You are a well-rounded fighter, do you have a preference in that would you rather get the submission or the KO, or is a win a win?
A: In the end a win is a win. It is about getting in there and doing what it takes to win a fight, but I am definitely more comfortable on the ground.
Q: You are starting to get some hype around you, did you expect that to happen so soon?
A: Not at all! I went into my first fight, you train and hope your training has prepared you, so to come away with a win in my debut fight was more than I could have ever hoped for. To follow that up with success and have people give me affirmation, it wasn't something I expected so soon. I thought I would have to keep working and be around longer and prove myself over and over before people would notice me. It has been really neat.
Q: Is it hard to not let it go to your head and maybe get cocky?
A: I guess a little bit. Luckily I have a support system that is good at keeping me grounded and let me be confident in myself, but knowing the balance of going into the cage and feeling confident so you are able to have the mind-set to execute your game-plan, you have to be confident, but also keep grounded, level-headed and humble.
Q: As you keep winning and getting that attention, I believe you have had four fights this year, do you expect it to become harder to get fights?
A: I have actually had five fights, I fought Heather LeFevre twice in a row. For some reason the second one hasn't shown up yet. That is a concern of mine because there is such a smaller fighter pool for female fighters. It is hard enough, then getting a better record starts to eliminate people willing to accept. That is part of the appeal of the NAAFS, Nichole Long has a lot of connections with female fighters around the country, so she will be able to help me get fights with the right opponents.
Q: Are there any fighters you like to watch and maybe learn from?
A: I really like GSP quite a bit. I like how he works his jab and low kicks, but then has explosive takedowns. He is always very calm and epitomizes that martial artist mentality. I also really like Dominick Cruz. He is so quick and unorthodox.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: The biggest would be my gym Power of One and coach Jason Porter. The first day I walked in to try out the gym, I was in his office and he could tell I could be more than just doing the fitness classes. He has been there for me and my training. He is under-rated as a coach. people may not know his name, but he knows MMA, I couldn't imagine training with anyone else.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Photo Credit: GJG Photography
One of the words most used to describe Amber Ignatowski is "phenom", and with good reason. Having just graduated from high school, she has already had six amateur fights, winning them all until losing her most recent fight to Sarah McLeod in a fight that was easily the fight of the night. Amber is a well-rounded fighter, but is most known for having a really impressive stand-up game. On September 22nd Ignatoswki returns to the cage at NAAFS Combat Challenge 22 against a tough opponent in Rachel Sazoff.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: When I was younger I did Karate and got my Black Belt in that. I wanted to start training for MMA and I moved to where I am now at USA Martial Arts. Then Mike, my coach, set me up with my first fight a few years ago and that's about it.
Q: A lot of parents may worry about their daughter getting punched in the face, were your parents o.k. with you wanting to fight?
A: Haha, no, my mom is a complete mess when I fight. She needs lots of alcohol. Usually I am pretty late on the card so by the time I fight she is waisted haha. She always freaks out but she has gotten better now because I this will be my seventh fight. The first three she was a complete mess for.
Q: You just graduated high school so you are very young, does it ever bother you when people talk about your age every fight?
A: It doesn't bother me very much. I am young in the sport. My first fights were in Michigan before I was eighteen. It doesn't really bother me.
Q: There has been a lot of hype around you, is it hard to keep it from getting to your head and staying humble?
A: No, not really. I hear a lot of people say things but I don't have time to acknowledge it so it doesn't get in the way.
Q: You are coming off your first loss to Sarah McLeod, the saying is that you learn more from a loss than a win, so with that fight what did you learn?
A: I learned a lot from that fight. Me and my coach have been working on a lot of head movement and different ways to circle the cage. She was so much taller than me. If I use the things I learn from that fight with a girl even my height, I will have an advantage. We have worked on a lot since then.
Q: You are fighting Rachel Sazoff, do you know anything about her?
A: I looked her up. There is not a lot written on her. There is a few videos of her in grappling tournaments so I know she has a solid ground game, especially where she trains at. There isn't much on her MMA career but I saw she has fought some legit girls, she beat Ronda Gale in her last fight. I know she will be tough. She is more my size and we have a similar record, so it should be a good fight.
Q: You are well-rounded, but your striking stands out. In her last fight her striking seemed improved, would you hope she is willing to stand with you?
A: Yeah, that is what I look for in an opponent. The majority of my fights were stand-up. I am comfortable there but also comfortable on the ground if it goes there.
Q: Do you think people maybe under-estimate your ground game?
A: I am sure that a lot of people do. I train most of my time on Jiu-Jitsu. Most of my fights never get to that point, but I do have it even though some people don't believe so haha.
Q: All her fights have gone the distance, so she is hard to finish, do you have to make sure not to gas out early?
A: Yeah, I am not really worried about that part of it, but I know all her fights have gone the distance. She has good stamina but so I do, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Q: Is there a key to you winning this fight?
A: I don't wanna give anything away, but I plan to come prepared.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I really can't say that I have a prediction. There isn't much I know about her. I know my game-plan is. I can see it going all three rounds, I can see it being a quick finish, it depends on what her game-plan is.
Q: After this, any idea what you want next or one fight at a time?
A: Basically one fight at a time. My gym and another gym close by we do local Toledo fights. I may do one October 20th if we can bring an opponent down here but nothing solid right now.
Q: You mentioned fighting later in cards usually, and this is one of the main fights here, does that put any more pressure on you to have a good performance?
A: Not too much. A little more since it is for NAAFS. Four out of my six fights I have been the main event, so I know how to handle that. The hardest part is it is so late and I wanna get it over with.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My gym USA Martial Arts, My coach Mike Gray, Todds Guns and Too Tuff Wear.
Friday, September 7, 2012
After more than a year off to heal from injuries, Jessica Zomcik returns to the cage at NAAFS Combat Challenge 22 to take on Ashley Rickard. A well-rounded fighter, Zomcik is known for always having an exciting crowd pleasing fight. This fight with Rickard is a fight that could definitely steal the show.
Q: You have not fought since December 2010, for those who may not know, can you explain why you were off for so long?
A: I had shoulder injuries. I had bursitis, arthritis and tendinitis in both shoulders. I was going through a rough time in my life. It took nine months of rehab to get my shoulders to where I could hold anything heavier than a purse without them popping out. Probably about February of this year I got a personal trainer and really started hitting it hard. It took several months to get a match-up.
Q: Was it hard to take all that time off?
A: I was still training through-out it. I took a month off after the fight to regroup. I had gone three years solid of training with no more than a dew days off here and there. It was heart-braking to not step in the cage that long.
Q: You are fighting Ashley Rickard, what do you know about her?
A: Not much. I am just gonna fight my game. I heard she is well-rounded, a little bit of everything. I hope it is a good fight, I think it will be exciting.
Q: Do you worry about cage rust?
A: I think there will be cage rust in some form. But I am training so hard and so much that I think a lot of it has been knocked off training at Evolve and cross-training at GriffonRawl. It really helps training in a cage and working with a lot of amateur and pro fighters to get your feeling back in the cage.
Q: With the two of you both having good ground games, does it maybe increase the chance it becomes more stand-up?
A: I like to stand and bang but I like the ground. I am comfortable wherever it goes.
Q: Is there a key to you winning the fight?
A: Flying omoplata haha. Just fight smart and have fun. That's my game.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: My hand being raised.
Q: After this fight, how active would you like to be?
A: Probably every two months, that would be great.
Q: Anyone who has seen you knows your fights are usually crowd pleasing, is that something you take pride in?
A: I think so. It is displaying what you have worked so hard on. It is very satisfying to have people excited to watch you fight and talk about you and be impressed with your skills.
Q: have you put any thought into how many fights you would want before turning pro?
A: Yes and no. Right now I have eight. Probably ten to fifteen. I think me and my coaches will know when I am ready or when they cant find me anyone else as an amateur.
Q: You recently cornered Jessica Dinch in her win, were you more nervous cornering someone else than for your own fights?
A: Oh my gosh, yes. This was my first time cornering. It was nerve racking and exciting at the same time. You are like a marionette and you are controlling from the outside what she is doing to a certain extent. It is like a teammate fighting, you are nervous for them. It is more nerve racking to corner or have a teammate fight than yourself fight.
Q: Is it something you would like to do more of?
A: Yeah, I really enjoyed it. It was exciting. It is like a front row seat and you are yelling at them and they can listen and you are not just a fan in the stand screaming, you have a purpose. It transfers into your own fighting, you tell them something like "Put your head up", and now understand what your corner goes through when you fight. So it can really benefit.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Jason Cardinali, her is my personal trainer. Everyone at Evolve, John Cook, Ryan Madigan, Steve Traczyk, and everyone who I cross-train with.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos
On September 15th Kelly Warren looks to bounce back from some tough losses when she takes on Tyra Parker at NAAFS Caged Fury 19. Warren has a very deceptive record when you consider her losses were competitive fights against Aisling Daly, Jessica Eye and Tara LaRosa. Warren has improved with each fight leaving every reason to believe that in this fight we could see the best Kelly Warren to date.
Q: You are coming off a little losing streak against some really good competition. Was it hard to not get too down on yourself?
A: Yeah definitely. The last time was cause I thought I was more prepared than my last fight. I didn't think I was gonna fight that one. It took me a month to talk myself back into it and Justin talked me back into it. I've been doing t for awhile and I believe I can go far. Having those losses in a row was hard.
Q: Going back to the Tara LaRosa fight, you got submitted with one second left in the round, were you aware there was just one second left?
A: No I wasn't. I was not aware of the time at all. That really was a bummer. I didn't realize it till me and my manager Brett had talked about it. We walked upstairs and he said "did you know there was one second left?" I was like "you mean there was one second left?" I was unaware of everything at that point. That was a really bad call.
Q: When you found out was it hard not to kind of hit yourself?
A: Yes haha. I hear it a lot, "you know how much different things would be if there was one second different in that fight?", and I'm like "Yeah, I'm aware of it" haha.
Q: You are fighting Tyra Parker coming up, you were supposed to fight in Michigan and were suddenly added to this card, can you explain how everything happened?
A: The fight in Michigan, basically I got dropped from the card. I got a contract to fight somebody and was stalking her to see what she was up to. I went on her facebook page and the matchmaker posted on her page that she was contracted to a different female fighter. I got ahold of Brett and Brett asked him and he said it was true. He basically sent out two different contracts for one fighter. The other girl got the fight because it was a better match-up since they were both 0-0 pros and she supposedly was supposed to have the fight first. I don't know exactly why it got worked out that way. He told me if one got injured I would that I would get the opening. But I was upset because he had asked me even before I fought in Costa Rica to be on the card. So I asked Nichole (Long) if she had any openings on any of her cards.
Q: The fact that Nichole would put you on a card on short notice to help you out like that, how much do you appreciate that?
A: Nichole is such a great person. I love working with her. She is fun to talk to and down to earth. I have known her for awhile. From the beginning of my amateur card. We met when she was working for King of the Cage. She was trying to get me to come to Ohio, but Michigan has different sanctioning rules for amateurs than Ohio. I couldn't fight there, so I turned pro. She has been very helpful these last few fights. I always contact her and she tries hard to get me something.
Q: Being that it is your third fight with NAAFS, is it safe to assume you like fighting for them?
A: Yes! They are very well organized, the people are nice, easy to work with, I have never had any problems with anything, so it has been awesome.
Q: Is it nice to come fight for them and not have to fight Jessica Eye making you the most evil person in the world?
A: Haha, Yeah. Me and Jessica fought and it was a great fight. I enjoy coming to her gym (Strong Style) and training with her and this time I was trying to help so she could come here with me for this fight. I think we will try and keep that going, we have a good relationship. She is such a hard worker, a great fighter, lots of skills. We train well together.
Q: Since you fought her, you guys have talked and trained, what does it say about the two of you that you have that fight and now are so willing to help each other out?
A: It is our job I guess. Before we had never talked before the fight, maybe exchanged words at the Aisling fight, but that is about it. We are not catty like most female fighters. It was a good loss and I appreciate that she thinks enough of me as a fighter that she would have me come work with her.
Q: So, do you know anything about Tyra?
A: No, we have tried to find stuff on her. She is 1-2 and hasn't fought since 2010. I am not quite sure on why she has been off, or just decided to get back into it again. It will be interesting. She was fighting at 112 or 120.
Q: Even your losses were against great opponents, can your resume and the people you have fought close fights with be intimidating for her?
A: What I was looking at is the fact that my losses are due to armbar and her win is by armbar, so she can look at it that way. That is how I would look at it. But my goal is to keep it standing and play my game. It is hard to say what she can deal with, I have had so many more fights than her.
Q: After fighting the girls you have fought is it hard to not under-estimate her?
A: No! I don't know what she has been doing, she could have been sharpening every skill. We have worked on my weak areas and not worry about what she can do.
Q: None of her fights, wins or losses, have gone past two minutes, if the fight goes into rounds two or three, since you have that experience, does that give you an advantage?
A: I hope so. Having more recent fights that her, she may have the adrenaline build-up from being off so long and then cardio wise being a mental struggle. I do have that advantage.
Q: Is there a key to you winning this fight?
A: Yes, if she flurries, use distance, keep my distance, stay long, lots of punches on the outside.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: No, of course everyone hopes for the knock-out or finish. I want to finish, I don't wanna go the distance. If it does, I just wanna come out with the win.
Q: Any idea what you want after this, or just focused on this?
A: I want to fight two more times this year. I want to end the year on a good note. After this, if I don't get too banged up, I am going to do the Michigan Open Grappling tournament. I am just trying to stay active.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Everybody, NAAFS for giving me fights, Tyra for being an opponent, my sponsors Intimidation and Klench Mouth Guards, my manager Addison Sports Management, my family and friends, and of course you Jason.